KUALA LUMPUR — The joy of DAP MP Zairil Khir Johari’s engagement to his party’s Socialist Youth leader, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, is unlikely to translate to good news for either’s political careers, said political observers.
Geopolitical expert Azmi Hassan told Malay Mail that the issue would have come to a head, even if the two had not announced their engagement on Saturday.
He said that while Zairil will likely still be retained as a candidate in the general election, the couple’s relationship as well as Dyana’s middling growth as a politician since losing the 2014 Teluk Intan by-election meant she may not make the cut.
“It is true there are husband-and-wife candidates within parties, but with Dyana, her chances were already slim for her to be fielded as a DAP candidate even before the engagement due to the by-election,” Azmi said.
DAP continued grooming Dyana since her narrow defeat to Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong in 2014, as part of its stable of young, Malay leaders.
Since then, however, she has made as many headlines as the rumoured love interest of DAP assistant national publicity secretary Zairil as she has for anything else.
Azmi said DAP may now take the opportunity to drop Dyana as a candidate for GE14 in a move that would allow her and the party to save face.
National Professors Council’s Political, Security and International Affairs Cluster secretary Datuk Abdul Halim Sidek said both Zairil and Dyana will need to be protected if DAP fields them in the general election.
He said both Malay candidates will have to be given safe Chinese-majority seats to ensure they will be voted in.
“At the end of the day, it boils down to endorsement. Even though DAP has no grassroots candidate, should the top leadership say they are good, they can be placed anywhere and the people will vote for them, if they are die-hard supporters of the party,” he said.
Zairil and Dyana had their private engagement ceremony on Saturday, at the Kinta Riverfront Hotel in Ipoh.
The couple are scheduled to wed before the end of the year.
DAP MUM ON ZAIRIL, DYANA’S FUTURE
PETALING JAYA – DAP leaders declined to comment about the effect of Zairil Khir Johari and Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud’s engagement on either’s potential candidacy in the general election.
Zairil and Dyana announced their engagement yesterday, ending years of speculation about their relationship.
DAP deputy chairman Gobind Singh Deo told Malay Mail his party will decide on the matter when necessary.
“This policy applies to all candidacy nominees in the party and not just the two,” he stressed.
Acting DAP national chairman Tak Kok Wai told Malay Mail the decision will be made by the selection committee.
However, he also asserted that the committee has not finalised its choices.
The 14th general election must be held no later than August, or five months away at most.
“The five-man committee, which I am part of, has yet to meet and make a decision. Seats at all levels for parliamentary or state have yet to be decided,” he told Malay Mail.
Yesterday, Zairil and Dyana were engaged at the Kinta Riverfront Hotel in Ipoh.
Zairil is Penang DAP vice-chairman and Bukit Bendera MP while Dyana Sofya is a member of the DAP Socialist Youth national executive council and unsuccessfully contested the Teluk Intan seat in 2014.
Prior to the confirmation of their relationship, the two had repeatedly fended off rumours and allegations of an affair, including purported photographs of them behaving intimately leaked online in early 2017.
In a statement on his Facebook page yesterday, Zairil said his previous and most recent marriage ended late last year.
– Malay Mail